By Tony Pilkington, managing director at Younifi
Adult social care is facing a tough future. Our growing ageing population is putting an increased demand on services, and amid a backdrop of ongoing austerity measures, it’s predicted that there will be a funding gap of £2.3 billion in the sector by 2020.
In spite of these pressures, local authorities are striving to do better, and are keen to deliver a more personalised approach to the people in its care, while ensuring services are monitored and managed effectively. However, working across a variety of services has meant that local authorities are struggling to keep track of what is being spent and why, making it increasingly difficult for councils to assess where best to put their valuable yet limited resources to meet each care recipients’ unique needs, preferences and budgets.
And the management of care isn’t just proving to be a challenge for local authorities. Research we conducted last year found that the majority of care recipients have little knowledge about the care options on offer to them, and a worryingly high number of recipients aren’t sure how much their care costs. Interestingly it found that information sharing was critical to care success, highlighting the need for information about day to day activities to be shared across a person’s support network.
To create a social care market fit for today’s needs, care providers must deliver more personalised services and support to an increasingly diverse community. Local authorities must deliver greater support to all those within the system to allow for greater visibility and control to encourage greater involvement in care experiences if they are to achieve better outcomes. Authorities need to adapt the way in which they deal with demand and work together with partners, providers and recipients to adopt radically different relationships to create a sustainable social care system.
YPO, the professional buying organisation for the public sector, has recognised the need for a holistic approach to managing care. It has launched the Managing Care Solutions framework to provide greater visibility, remove barriers and encourage more diversity within the social care system. The framework offers a way for care commissioners to create an evidence hub that informs strategic planning, develops and promotes community assets and enables self-care.
Now is the time for radical change in the way social care is managed and delivered, and this framework offers true innovation to local authorities. As the sole solution provider on it we are able to help social care professionals address many challenges around managing care, which until now have been constrained by out of date solutions and practices.